Jesus Shows Up For Us When Life Seems Roughest

It is so encouraging to read accounts of how Jesus showed up for His disciples at just the right time when they needed Him most. Encouraging because He is still the same today as He was that evening when He showed up while His followers were in distress on the rough waters of the lake they were crossing. We are never happy about the days when we feel like things could get no worse, however as followers of Jesus Christ, we have assurance that our Savior watches out for us and will be there for us, especially when life is at its toughest for us. May we be encouraged as we meditate on God’s Word today!

Sunday, 2021-10-17

Bible Reference: John 6:16-21
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: 16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!

APPLICATION: Unless we take for granted what each believer goes through on a daily basis, let’s not imagine for a moment that our situation is any worse than our neighbor or our fellow believer, and let us never think that we are really more deserving of a hand-up with all that we are encountering. You see, some might be very sad at the loss of a spouse, or a parent, or a child, while others might be overwhelmed to the extent of being frantic, or have a nervous breakdown. In the case of the disciples – they were terrified at the fear of the rough waters and the possibility of loss of life. However, our Christian Brother of Sister may look on life, and the worse types of scenarios, and some might become frantic if things are not going exactly as they had planned. Friends, I believe that we are all aligned with the disciples in our fear of being out of control, especially when life’s circumstances are beyond anything we understand or could control, There are times that we may need emotional help after losing a job, or losing a girlfriend/boyfriend, or when traveling on a boat or a plane going through turbulence, for we are out of control. A brand new scenario is occurring as I prepare this devotional, a dad is faced with having to decide on withdrawing life support from a 16 yr old son. He is totally besides himself, as he can do nothing for his young son. But there are several lessons in this Scripture that I believe may serve to help us today:
1. Jesus knew His disciples were in trouble, so He went to miraculous means to get to them and to help them. Let me remind you dear friend that Jesus knows about your struggles also, and that He will move mountains just to be there for you, child of God!
2. Notice that the disciples welcomed Jesus into the boat. Did they have an option? Of course they did, they could have done like many of us do when we see someone in need – we wave at them and we may wish them well, or we may say that we will pray for them, but we don’t stop to truly understand their need and help them lovingly and compassionately. But that’s not how Jesus reacted with the disciples in their time of desperation, and it is not how He will respond to us in our times of feeling like we are all alone in walking through life’s most challenging times.
In the Scripture we are told that Jesus will be with us always! Praise God, He knows when we are hurting; when we are sad; when we are lonely; and when we feel like there is no hope. This same chapter of John reminds us that Jesus not only cares about today’s struggles, but that He has a home prepared for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. So there is a long-term plan for those of us that have placed our faith and trust in Jesus, God’s only Son! Let me carefully show you one important thing in this 2nd point though: Jesus didn’t just place Himself in the boat amidst His disciples in their panic, for He wanted to make sure they wanted Him there with them. Notice that they invited Him into the boat. And that’s the way it is with us still today, we must invite Jesus into our hearts and right smack into the middle of our lives, our decisions, our aspirations and our long-term plans. Throughout the Bible we are told that God is preparing a glorious home for us in glory, for I believe that our King wants nothing but the best for His princes and princesses!
The ball is in your court dear friend. Take heed from the disciples and invite Jesus in – into your heart. Regardless of how well you behave, or how much you give to the church, this is a required step for you to enter heaven. Invite Jesus in – TODAY, my friend! Tomorrow may be too late, for death without Jesus places you in the pit of Hell with no mercy from Satan.

PRAYER: I can’t imagine life without options precious Lord, so I thank You for seeing the desperation in the need of the disciples. I am most appreciative of the mercy You showed for us as dear Lord, for You sacrificed Your very own Son so that we might escape the fury of Hell, and have the hope of eternal life in Paradise with You! Thank You Jesus for having mercy on those that choose to surrender their life to You and invite You into their heart. You have placed the ‘ball’ into our court now. Oh that all who read this devotional have a desire to invite you into their heart, and accept the Gift that You are offering us today. It is my desire to be with You Oh King, and I pray for that same desperate call by all who will read this devotional today. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Doubting It’s Really Jesus?

The prophets foretold the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus told his disciples about His death, burial and Resurrection. The ladies to first visit the tomb found out that Christ had risen. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus saw that Jesus had risen. Yet when he stood before the disciples, they thought it was a ghost. I wonder how we might react to seeing Jesus in person at our work sites, or our homes, or our church services this week?

Monday, 2021-09-20

Bible Reference: Luke 24:36-41
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them, and greeted them. 37 But the whole group was terribly frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why do you doubt that it is really I? 39 Look at my hands! Look at my feet! You can see that it is I, myself! Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost! For ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do!” 40 As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see the marks of the nails, and showed them the wounds in his feet.
41 Still they stood there undecided, filled with joy and doubt.

APPLICATION: In light of the challenge that the disciples faced, the Holy Spirit prompted me to look inward and see what I would do if Jesus appeared at my church, or Bible Study, etc. Whoa, that brought a whole new perspective on this. You see, I believe that often we will read these Scriptures and, if we’re not careful, we start to examine the hearts and lives of the individuals, like the disciples, to see what on earth might have distorted or blocked their faith at such a sensitive time. But what about us? I often attend a Easter Sunrise service each year, where we highlight, celebrate and try to envision with the rising sun, what it must have been like to see the rising Son. What if Jesus became our guest speaker at one of those services one year? Wouldn’t that truly break the routine what we might expect from those services each year? I can’t imagine the impact that would have on the believers present, or at least those who don’t die from shock! Often we will pray that Jesus might come down and heal our bodies, our church and our land. What if He came in person one night and just chatted with us about His Kingdom and perhaps His intentions for our respective ministries? Would our feeble hearts be capable of handling that? Friends, our Savior is no longer in the grave, for He arose! So as we reflect on this wonderful experience of the disciples, let’s be sure to prepare our hearts for seeing Jesus again some day. Whether it’s here on earth, or when we get to heaven, I am convinced that it will be a glorious time for us to kneel at His feet and worship Him endlessly! Until that time, let me encourage you to seek the face of Jesus daily, and prepare yourself for the most magnificent visit with Him. There’s a song ‘Oh that will be Glory for me, Glory for me, Glory for me, When by His grace I shall look on His Face….’. Not sure about you my friend, but I become overwhelmed with joy at just the thought of seeing my Savior. May you be ready to see Him, whether it’s today, or whether He waits for your arrival to allow your physical presence! Oh Lord Jesus, come!

PRAYER: The disciples experienced it first! Meeting Him in person after His Resurrection, had them in awe! And I can’t even imagine how such a miracle would impact us today. Lord, You gave it all for my friends and I, and we’ve read and understood from Scriptures that You are very much alive and awaiting our arrival in Heaven! Thank You Lord Jesus for making the way possible for us to overcome the evil of this wicked world and to make the transition to heaven one day where we might worship You throughout the rest of eternity. Please help us to live as children of the King, and may every selfish desire disappear as we work on convincing our unsaved loved ones and friends about the need for our Savior. Please soften hearts even today as we go about our way and make contact with various ones who have not yet accepted You. Please give us boldness and wisdom to share the joy of our salvation with everyone we come into contact with today. AMEN!

What Then Shall We Do?

Our churches fill to capacity after a disaster, and even during the waiting period of impending danger. Thousands of people who hardly ever darken the church doors suddenly realize where real help comes from, and they are quickly reminded that only God can truly satisfy the needs of His helpless people. Similarly, John the Baptist had a crowd show up for baptism even though he was pretty sure they had not met the prerequisites of first being born again. John had a serious warning, and we should make sure that it does not apply to us.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-07-16
WRITTEN AT: Deming, NM

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 3:7-9
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: John kept preaching to the many crowds who came out to be baptized, “You are nothing but the offspring of venomous snakes, full of deception! Who warned you to repent before the coming wrath of God? Then turn away from your sins, turn to God, and let your changed life be proof. Don’t think for a moment that it’s enough to simply be the favored descendants of Abraham. That’s not enough to save you.[i] I’m telling you, God could make more sons of Abraham out of stones if he chose to! “Even now God’s axe of judgment is poised to chop down your barren tree right down to its roots! And every tree that does not produce good fruit will be leveled and thrown into the fire.”

APPLICATION: It was prophesied that John the Baptist would prepare the way for the coming, and ministry, of Jesus Christ. He was miraculously born to a very old childless couple, and when he became of age, he took his ministry very serious. He most often called the shots exactly the way that he saw them, while comparing the lives of those he ministered to, to God’s Holy Word. During my younger years, I was heavily involved in the leadership of the local church. However, when God blessed us with a daughter, and she became of age to understand, she could not depend on my relationship with the Lord, nor boast on her relationship with the Lord based on my involvement in the church. She had to seek out, and accept, Jesus for herself. As indicated in my opening, churches fill up when disaster approaches, or has just occurred. This tells me that the majority of people know where their help comes from and they know who holds the key to tomorrow. But they are so pulled by Satan and this world, that they want to hang on to that which they believe gives them the most satisfaction in life. So they try to avoid Christ, until the absolute end. The example I gave with my daughter is closest to the circumstances that John faced, for people started showing up for him to baptize them, thinking that their relationship with Jesus had been cemented by the fact that they were ancestors of Abraham. Friends, the Scriptures are still as true today, as they were back in the day of John. There is only one way into heaven! It matters not who you are related to, nor any other factor in life. If you try to disguise yourself as a child of God, and you have not accepted His Son as your personal Savior, then I hope that John’s duplicate who might be in your church, or in your normal walk of life, will say the same thing to you as John said: ‘You brood of snakes/vipers’. In verse 10 of Luke 3, the people got the message loud and clear, and I hope that each reader and/or listener will also get the message today and ask: ‘What then shall we do?’ Precious friends, the Word of God is clear, and it backs up exactly what John taught: Unless you are born again – in other words, unless you receive Jesus as your Savior and start life over afresh in Him and obey Him in all walks of life, then you will be considered a ‘fake’ just like the folk that came to John. Be real my friend, accept Jesus today and trust in Him with all your heart, soul and mind. Be obedient to His commands (found in the Bible) and follow His example in every walk of life. If you need help in understanding what this entails, please click on the link ‘To Know Jesus’ in my Footnote. You will find Scriptures that will help guide you to the foot of the cross to accept Jesus as Lord. Of course you may also get with a local Bible teaching pastor, or write to me, and one of us will introduce you to our Savior. I’m sure that no reader or listener would set out to be part of ‘a brood of vipers’, so I earnestly pray that you will accept the guidance given in this devotional today as your first step in becoming A Child of the Most High God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: The rewards of heaven are available to all who accept Jesus as Lord!

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, in spite of the ugliness of sin, yet You forgave me of my sin and accepted me as our very own son. Thank You precious Lord for hearing my cry and forgiving me of my sin. I pray that every reader and/or listener will be openly accepted at one of John’s baptisms today, because they have surrendered themselves to Your lordship. But Lord, each of us will probably have relatives or friends who still fit the ugly name accused by John, and we humbly pray that You will reach out and touch their lives today. Humble them to see clearly what their current position is, and how critical it is that they seek You out today, before it is eternally too late. We are so thankful for Your grace Lord, and we will be eternally thankful for Your intervention in the lives of our loved ones who need You today. Be praised today Lord, because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Only God Can

Since Jesus made it clear that the rich can’t save themselves from the pit of hell, we may ponder ‘then what about those who do good? Or those who work endlessly around the church? Or those who habitually attend church every Sunday?’ I believe that as we meditate on the Word of God today, we may be tempted to ask like Peter did: ‘then who in the world can be saved?’.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-03-09
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 19:23-26
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.

OBSERVATION: Since Jesus made it clear that the rich can’t save themselves from the pit of hell, we may ponder ‘then what about those who do good? Or those who work endlessly around the church? Or those who habitually attend church every Sunday?’ I believe that as we meditate on the Word of God today, we may be tempted to ask like Peter did: ‘then who in the world can be saved?’.

APPLICATION: I had a good friend who argued that he had no doubt his dad would go to heaven, because he had impeccable character and was overly kind to everyone. Sounds logical, especially if you were in charge of who gets into heaven, right? As suggested in my ‘Observation’, there are other cases where mankind might assume that a dear friend is going to heaven. But in today’s Scripture, our eyes are opened to the fact that since this is God’s kingdom that we are talking about, then we must look to His Word for the answers on who will make it in. The disciples themselves were amazed that Jesus would refuse to allow an influential man who had lots of money into heaven. But the Scriptures are filled with wisdom on every subject that we could think of, especially on the subject of heaven. There is only one way dear friends. God sent His Son in a miraculous way as a baby, and His designed purpose was to minister while on earth, then die a cruel death just like a criminal. His death on the cross gave way to His resurrection three days later, so that Jesus could return to heaven to be with the Father. The death of our Lord was designed to be a sacrifice for the sins of all who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. This act of salvation became the one and only way that mankind could be forgiven of their earthly sin and made clean to face the Father when we stand before Him. You see, our money has nothing to do with the act of salvation. No amount of goodness will take the place of seeking salvation in Jesus Christ. And no matter how often we attend church, without surrendering lordship of your life to Jesus Christ, you will not see the glories of heaven. Jesus showed us in today’s Scripture that the rich find it virtually impossible to say ‘no’ to their riches and ‘yes’ to Jesus. I pray that as you meditate on this today, you will allow God to examine your heart to ensure that money, fame, good works or nothing else stands in the way of your surrender to Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for the sacrifice You paid for my sin, and the sin of those who seek Your Kingship. Please help my readers and I to seek You first in our lives and in all humility surrender any and all other allegiance. Nothing in this world is worth us missing the greatest opportunity ever given to mankind. You are my Lord and my everlasting Savior and I look forward to being with You in glory some sweet day. May all who read this devotional be settled in their hearts to make the same commitment to You for the sake of their eternal destiny. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

It’s Time To Respond

The wicked ones, or the ungodly, or the unbelievers will be given over to their leader – Satan. While the believers, or the Christians, or those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord, will shine brightly in heaven with their Master and Lord. This doesn’t work like the lottery, but rather by the decision that you make today while you are still alive. Try sharing with one another today which of these options will be your declaration. Perhaps saying it aloud will help you make sure that you are satisfied with the decision you have made.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-02-16
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 13:41-43

TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 41 The Son of Man will send his messengers, and they will uproot everything out of his kingdom. All the lawless ones and everything that causes sin will be removed. 42 And they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will experience great sorrow, pain, and anguish.[v] 43 Then the godly ones will shine like the brightness of the sun[w] in their Father’s kingdom realm. If you’re able to understand this, then you’d better respond!”

OBSERVATION: The wicked ones, or the ungodly, or the unbelievers will be given over to their leader – Satan. While the believers, or the Christians, or those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord, will shine brightly in heaven with their Master and Lord. This doesn’t work like the lottery, but rather by the decision that you make today while you are still alive. Try sharing with one another today which of these options will be your declaration. Perhaps saying it aloud will help you make sure that you are satisfied with the decision you have made.

APPLICATION: Praise God He does not decide on our eternal destiny based on our looks, our attitude, the color of our skin, the country where we were born nor the parents who took part in our birth. The Scripture is very clear that God made us smart enough that He was comfortable we would be capable of making our own decisions. In the Book He gave to us as our guide, He reminded us that:
> We were created to worship, adore and serve our risen Lord;
> God gave us free will to make our own decisions while here on earth, and He has agreed to honor our decision, even though it would sadden Him to see us make very bad decisions;
> God sent His only Son as our Savior to save us from the sin that He was sure we would give in to;
> God knew that some would accept His gift of salvation, and some won’t. So He made it very clear what the impact would be as a result of our own choices;
> God is a fair and righteous Judge, and He will not waiver in His judgment, especially where He knows our every thought and action. He never plays favorites;
Friends, the above points are not what the writer thinks, or points that I devised to make judgment on you. Each of these things can be supported by Scripture, and God never lied. We serve a very fair, honest and righteous God. And I am convinced that He will do what He said He would do. The decision is therefore yours to make, about what will be your eternal destiny after you close your eyes in death. However, know that you only have this life to make that decision. From the point of death and for all eternity, your days will be spent enduring the decisions you made while alive on earth. The answers given in today’s Scripture makes it clear what will be your outcome should you be called out from the world at the moment of reading this devotional. You are not promised a given date for your departure. Some die at ripe old ages, while many die while they are still young. Let me beg you to make a good decision right now on where you stand in your relationship with God. Know Him today my friend, and have that peace of mind that should He take you out today, you are satisfied with the choice you have made for all eternity. God created you, and He wants you to be with Him forever. Don’t disappoint Him.

PRAYER: Lord, we are often ecstatic when we go for a test after just being given the cheat-sheet to study the answers. You have done exactly that. You gave us Your precious Word, and You outlined exactly what will result from the decisions we make today. All those who stumble across this devotional will be smart enough to understand the Scripture quoted above. Please soften hearts that we will not again read the consequences of our decisions and still go on doing what we’ve always done. Your Word is a lamp unto our path. May we follow in the light and rejoice with the angels as we look into Your wonderful face one day soon when You call us home to glory! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Place To Call ‘Home’

Imagine for a moment that you landed on a desolate island where you know no one, nor have you made any arrangements for a place to stay there. What would you do? In today’s Scripture the Psalmist reminds us that when we leave this world, the Lord will take care of His own (those who have prearranged their meeting with Him, by accepting Him as Lord) However, the unsaved will be left with their earthly master – Satan, as they won’t have a place with the people of God. Think about whether this is really what you want, as there may still be time to change your mind while there is breath in your body.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-01-03
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 1:5–6
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 5 Sinners won’t have an excuse on the day of judgment, and they won’t have a place with the people of God.
6 The Lord protects everyone who follows him, but the wicked follow a road
that leads to ruin.

OBSERVATION: Imagine for a moment that you landed on a desolate island where you know no one, nor have you made any arrangements for a place to stay there. What would you do? In today’s Scripture the Psalmist reminds us that when we leave this world, the Lord will take care of His own (those who have prearranged their meeting with Him, by accepting Him as Lord) However, the unsaved will be left with their earthly master – Satan, as they won’t have a place with the people of God. Think about whether this is really what you want, as there may still be time to change your mind while there is breath in your body.

APPLICATION: Financial advisors may give you advice as you enter into a New Year that may have opportunities equal to or worse than 2020. Medical doctors may give you advice on keeping your body healthy and prepared for the unexpected in 2021. But the Word of God is faithful in preparing you for the expected, after you leave this world. On each nightly news broadcast, we are given the numbers who became hospitalized, or have died from the Coronavirus. It only makes sense that you were not included in either of the totals mentioned, because you are reading this devotional. However, on the Day of Judgment that the Psalmist refers to in our Scripture, no one is excluded. Everyone will be accounted for. The children of God will be welcomed home to heaven by their Maker, because of their acceptance of His Son, Jesus. Those who rejected Jesus will not be welcomed there, which means that they will revert to Hell where Satan will rule over them with fire and brimstone for all eternity. The choice is made today, while you are still alive. You may argue that you made no such choice. Unfortunately that means that you have accepted your current leader (Satan) to continue ruling over you, and his ongoing reign is already explained. Friends, you prepared yourself to live independently; you prepared yourself financially to see yourself through everyday life; you prepared yourself for happiness by marrying the spouse of your dreams. But unless you prepare yourself for heaven by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will not have a home with Jesus and His saints. This could mean separation from family, friends, spouse and children. There’s no one to blame your outcome on, and there’s no one who could make the arrangements for you. This is a personal decision for each one, and the verdict is for all eternity. Please make this very early stage of 2021 of key importance to your eternal well being. Accept Jesus today and be saved for all eternity. Self-help is provided in my Footnote, and my contact information is also included, to help you change your destination plans. No excuses my friend, do this today, please?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for speaking words of wisdom to me back in 1976 and helping me make preparation for my eternity with You. Thank You for all who read this blog, and I thank you for friends and family. Please speak to their hearts today through Your powerful Word. Convict them of their sin and please reinforce the facts shared in my message today. According to Your Word there will only be a place in Your kingdom for those who have accepted Your Son. Please emphasize the shortness of time to all those who need to make important life changes. May today be a day of decision for each one, I pray. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

It Is Finished, Now Expect This…

Twice in the New Testament I remember the words ‘It Is Finished’. Once at Jesus’ death, and again in our Scripture today. If Jesus should postpone His return for a few days, we may hear these words again, for we will be reminded at midnight tomorrow evening that 2020 has come to an end – it (the old year) is finished. Let us meditate on all this means for us individually.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-12-30
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Revelation 21:6-8
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: It is finished! I am the A and the Z—the Beginning and the End. I will give to the thirsty the springs of the Water of Life—as a gift! Everyone who conquers will inherit all these blessings, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But cowards who turn back from following me, and those who are unfaithful to me, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those conversing with demons, and idol worshipers and all liars—their doom is in the Lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the Second Death.”

OBSERVATION: Twice in the New Testament I remember the words ‘It Is Finished’. Once at Jesus’ death, and again in our Scripture today. If Jesus should postpone His return for a few days, we may hear these words again, for we will be reminded at midnight tomorrow evening that 2020 has come to an end – it (the old year) is finished. Let us meditate on all this means for us individually.

APPLICATION: For some, 2020 may have been an exceptionally good year, but for most this has probably been the most challenging year of our lives. Of course, we have no idea what 2021 will bring to us, because it could be 100% better as the vaccine is introduced to the worldwide population and perhaps we could finally see an end to the COVID virus. Our lives could finally return to ‘normal’! There are some lessons we could learn from the challenges this year, as we were faced with an evil/virus that never before showed its ugly face. We were forced into quarantine; forced to wear masks; forced to social distance; forced to cook at home more, as restaurants were either closed, restricted or impossible to gain access to, due to the social distancing guidelines. We did all these things in order to survive – in order to avoid catching the virus. For centuries the church has been alive and well, with pastors preaching the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, so that we might prepared for eternity and our meeting in the air with our Maker. Jesus made Himself available to you and gave you the freedom to accept Him as Lord, so that you could avoid the pit of Hell and avoid all your worldly leader, Satan, has planned for you. Given the choice, even though the end result would lead to certain death and eternal punishment, yet many have chosen to ignore the warnings and instead, take their chances. Friends, I pray that as you evaluate what your chances were in ignoring the warnings in 2020, you might also think about how, given the warnings in the Bible about your eternal destination, you will make the right decision in favor of spending eternity with Jesus and His Father. This could occur before we finish out 2020, so I would highly recommend that you not postpone your decision any longer. See my Footnote for help, particularly the link ‘To Know Jesus’, for all the Scriptural help you need to accept Jesus. Be ready today my friend. I’m not sure when you might hear that phrase ‘It is finished’ next. Only God knows when He will call an end to this world by pronouncing ‘It (this world) is finished’. Only God knows when He will call an end to your life by pronouncing ‘It (your life) is finished’. Either of these could occur before you ever see 2021. The answer for full readiness in either scenario has been provided. It’s your turn – your decision, as no one can do this for you. Please dear friends, know Jesus and know the peace that passeth all understanding. Know where you will spend eternity after hearing your last ‘It is finished’ from God Himself.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for providing the path to eternal life for mankind, even though we may have done nothing to deserve it. Your love for us is far greater than anything we could imagine, but we appreciate Your unconditional and everlasting love for Your children. Praise God, You called me out of my sin and into the light of Your salvation, before pronouncing ‘it is finished’ on my life. I now can look forward to unending peace while still here on earth, knowing that I will enjoy eternal peace in heaven with You and the Father. Lord, I’m afraid that many are taking Your Word too lightly and not heeding to the warnings given in It. Please oh God, soften the hearts of my readers that they might know You before it is eternally too late, and do the same for my family and friends who are playing with their life and the vain benefits offered by this world. I would be forever grateful to You, Lord Jesus. May You be glorified throughout the rest of 2020 as Your children make important decisions in their lives. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

No Greater Gift

As we near Christmas, we might question ourselves on whether we purchased the best gift possible for the one(s) that we love. But what if you were living away from town and all the stores, what might you give for Christmas? Perhaps, like Paul, we should stop and ponder what might be the greatest gift ever given to us! It might help us to stop the complaining about how little we have but instead about how much we are loved.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-12-18
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 1:15-17
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 15 How true it is, and how I long that everyone should know it, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—and I was the greatest of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as an example to show everyone how patient he is with even the worst sinners, so that others will realize that they, too, can have everlasting life. 17 Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the King of the ages, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God, and full of wisdom. Amen.

OBSERVATION: As we near Christmas, we might question ourselves on whether we purchased the best gift possible for the one(s) that we love. But what if you were living away from town and all the stores, what might you give for Christmas? Perhaps, like Paul, we should stop and ponder what might be the greatest gift ever given to us! It might help us to stop the complaining about how little we have but instead about how much we are loved.

APPLICATION: We often think of gifts at Christmas time. Those given and those received over the years. There were some Christmases where we may have been disappointed, because we didn’t receive quite the gift that we expected. But were there years that you received an awesome gift, although you weren’t expecting anything at all? Imagine this for a moment today: Saul had murdered many Christians, and had done everything imaginable to disrupt the work of God through His church. What gift would you give him? No doubt some of the very men and women that Saul persecuted, were hard core workers in the church, and possibly local pastors trying their best to share the love of Jesus Christ with the unsaved. Yet when God was ready to promote the work of His church, He didn’t choose one of the local pastors, but instead, the man that terrorized them and their ministries. Why? Why? Why? I’m sure this must have been asked multiple times while Paul began his earthly ministry under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. But can you imagine how humbled Paul was, to have avoided the pit of Hell for all the evil he committed, and instead be promoted as one of God’s key ministers? It is easy to see that this kind of love came from a level never experienced before. This was a unique love that Paul would have felt; one that the local church would have possibly questioned, but yet marveled at; a love that only God was capable of giving to an opposer of the faith; a love that you and I could look back on and better understand how God also forgave us of our sin; a love that helps us better understand how God could have permitted His only Son to hang on a murderer’s cross and die for the salvation of sinners – those that mankind would have hated or put to death. This expression of love by our awesome God, to someone that seemed so undeserving, should open our hearts and minds this Christmas season and help us to remember that there is no gift that we could give to a loved one, that compares to the tremendous gift given for our salvation, and our ultimate security in knowing that heaven is our final home – with our Savior. So let’s learn from this that instead of being quick to criticize, find fault in, dislike or even hate someone for their actions, that we should be like God in giving the greatest, unexpected gift possible, by seeking ways to forgive them and love them better, and eternally. We may have never murdered, nor fought against Christians, but like Paul, we were steeped in sin and far from God, yet He allowed His Son to die a cruel death so that we may know Him and know about His love for us. Know that you are no better than Saul was – a sinner. Know that God is the same today as He was for Saul/Paul, He loves us enough that He would turn our lives completed around and place us on a track destined for Heaven. Now that’s a ‘GIFT’ my friend! Accept it this Christmas and meet my God!

PRAYER: I am most thankful for the greatest gift ever given, one that is out of this world, and one that will last eternally – thank You Jesus! Paul told us about this gift, and many other Bible scholars have also celebrated this precious gift. It is challenging to imagine that God loved even us so much that He gave His all so that we may live with Him in heaven for all eternity. Thank You Lord for recognizing the value in Paul, and I thank You for looking on us as Your precious sons and daughters, in spite of our ugliness in sin here on earth. I’m forgiven and I praise God for His wonderful mercies and grace towards me. Please Lord, speak again today to my family and friends, especially those who will read this devotional. Draw them unto Yourself and fill them with the eternal hope of being in heaven one day soon with You. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

A Safe Place

I believe that few will need reminding that God is our ‘go-to’ in times of trouble, for we tend to feel helpless, and we know that we must refer the matter to One that can handle all matters considered impossible by us. This often forces the Christian and the unbeliever to call on God, for we know that He could do ALL things. But notice how Nahum made a distinction between how God might treat His own, vs those that distance themselves from Him. So I encourage all readers to take note of what you could expect from God, depending on your acceptance of our King.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-12-16
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Nahum 1:7-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: The Lord is good. He is a safe place to go to in times of trouble. He takes care of those who trust him.
But he will completely destroy his enemies.
….

OBSERVATION: I believe that few will need reminding that God is our ‘go-to’ in times of trouble, for we tend to feel helpless, and we know that we must refer the matter to One that can handle all matters considered impossible by us. This often forces the Christian and the unbeliever to call on God, for we know that He could do ALL things. But notice how Nahum made a distinction between how God might treat His own, vs those that distance themselves from Him. So I encourage all readers to take note of what you could expect from God, depending on your acceptance of our King.

APPLICATION: Wouldn’t it make sense that for those who refuse the gift of eternal life from God, and choose to try and prove to the world that they could make it without Him, that they would also refuse to call on Him when life seems to be totally out of control? I would think so, but we know that’s not the way that life works. When disaster strikes, Christians are often called on by unbelievers to pray for them, or their loved one, who may be hurt or dying from some rare disease. How exactly might we pray? Our Scripture reminds us that Nahum was addressing the residents of Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, and God revealed to him that there were some who would find it safe to anchor themselves in the shelter and protection of the Almighty, but there were some who would be totally destroyed because of their distant and hateful relationship with Him. Friends, we serve a God who is filled with love – more than we could ever imagine or understand, and while He will listen to the cry for salvation from those who despise Him, there will come a day when He would remove His hand a protection from them and allow death and destruction to take its course, unless they surrender their lives to Him. Do you think for a moment that in today’s society God will react in a different way? He has always hated sin, and I believe that He always will. I don’t know about you, but there are times that I must turn the television off, especially when I see reports of crime, vagrancy, and hatred against each other. Friends, sin abounds and individuals act in such evil ways, that God must wonder how could He possibly have been involved in their birth and upbringing. As you evaluate your life today, you should see where you will fit into one of two categories before God: 1). You’ve been washed by the blood of His precious Son and you are looked upon by God as being ’white as snow’. In fact, He sees Jesus’ perfect sinless life when He looks at you, and you are considered a son, or friend of the most High God; or 2). You have shown little concern about your sinful condition and have therefore rejected the invitation from Jesus Christ on many occasions. Because you have neglected God’s gift – His own precious Son, you have treated Him as your enemy. In verse 8 of today’s Scripture, you will note that God will destroy His enemies. To transition from group (2) over to group (1), you simply need to recognize the unconditional love that God has for His children – for you. Then accept His Son and begin celebrating the assurance of life eternally with the Master for ever! Nahum was merely reminding the Ninevehites of their plight. I feel like I have done just that for all who will read this devotional. May God grant you peace, wisdom and direction as you consider your eternity today, AMEN!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul. Thank You Lord for making me whole. Thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Words from an old song that remains as true today as when I first accepted You as Lord and Savior of my life! Now oh Lord, I come before You on behalf of many family members and friends who have taken You for granted. They’ve decided to make a go at this life, all alone. Please Lord, soften their hearts and help them see very clearly that their segregation for You makes it clear that they are rejecting Your free gift of eternal life. In our Scripture today, and throughout Your Word, You have declared that You will destroy Your enemies. It saddens me that they would reject the most precious gift available to them today and remain enemies of Yours. Lord, instead of Your plan for eternal damnation for Your enemies, may I beg You to speak softly to all who will read this devotional today and remind them once again about Your love, and Your gift. May today be the day of Salvation for many, please oh Lord. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Response By God To our Cry

God overcame many obstacles for the Israelites and provided them a land that they described as ‘flowing with milk and honey’. However, when they settled and became happy in their new land, they quickly assumed their old habits and turned their face against God. When they did this, God allowed them to become servants of the very ones God allowed to stay put in the new land, knowing that they would one day be bold enough to oppose their religion and be accepted for it. However, when the Israelites could take no more of the abuse, they made 2 Chronicles 7:14 their very own and sought the face of God. In just a few verses we recognize the fact that God never gives up on us, and He hears our cry when we cry out to Him.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-09-07
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Judges 3:9-10; 15
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text: But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel, the son of Caleb’s younger brother, Kenaz. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel’s judge…..
15 But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin.

OBSERVATION: God overcame many obstacles for the Israelites and provided them a land that they described as ‘flowing with milk and honey’. However, when they settled and became happy in their new land, they quickly assumed their old habits and turned their face against God. When they did this, God allowed them to become servants of the very ones God allowed to stay put in the new land, knowing that they would one day be bold enough to oppose their religion and be accepted for it. However, when the Israelites could take no more of the abuse, they made 2 Chronicles 7:14 their very own and sought the face of God. In just a few verses we recognize the fact that God never gives up on us, and He hears our cry when we cry out to Him.  

APPLICATION: When I meditated on these verses, I was reminded of a popular verse that is often quoted in times of national or large scale crisis, 2 Chronicles 7:14, where the Lord told us that if we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face, then we can be assured that He would hear from heaven and heal our land….. In our Scripture today, we see where God was teaching the Israelites a very difficult lesson, and I might add that it very much applies to us today. God rescued His people from Egypt in a miraculous turn of events, and allowed two men whose main qualifications were trusting in God and allowing Him to lead their every move. God brought these thousands of people through some very testing and challenging times, but He lovingly took care of them for 40 years as they plundered through the wilderness to their final destination near the Jordan River. By the time of their arrival, God was dealing with a whole new generation, so there were some important lessons that He needed to teach them. So He left some of the original inhabitants in place, while giving some strict rules to the Israelites about their interaction with them. In very similar fashion to most of us reading this blog, the Israelites had their needs met by God, and very soon they fit right into the culture and the sins of those that God warned them about. Unfortunately, I believe that we are more like the Israelites, that we read about in the Old Testament, than we might care to acknowledge. In our times of crisis, we know where to run. But as soon as we see that God is in control, we lessen our commitment to Him and wander off again. Friends, Jesus said that not even He knows the day and time of God’s return to take His remaining saints home to glory. However, what we all know, is that He will come to take only His saints with Him. These are ones who have surrendered their lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ and are seriously committed to Him. Do you remember the day that you made a commitment to Jesus? If you have never done this, then you are unprepared for that great evacuation. Yes, God sent a savior for the Israelites when they cried out to Him. God also sent a Savior for those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In both cases, only those who believe in the mighty works of the one sent, will be saved. If you have any doubt at all about where you will spend eternity should Jesus returns today, then I beg you to please read my Footnote and look up the Scriptures quoted in the link ‘To Know Jesus’. Please follow my suggestions, and then contact me so that I might pray with you, and rejoice with you about your decision! Yes, Jesus will rescue us when we cry out to Him, but please be sure that He will recognize your voice as one of His chosen and saved children.

PRAYER: Lord, You took the Israelites to their knees after suffering for years under the leadership of the enemy. Many in our family and network of friends have drifted off to the leadership of the enemy – Satan. Lord we cry out to You today for saints to be totally committed to You, if they have truly surrendered their hearts to You. Please show them how important this is in their witness to unbelievers. I also ask that You would once again humble the hearts of those who need to make a decision to accept You today. Crying out to You in our troubles as total strangers will invoke those sad words recorded in the Bible ‘go away, for I never knew you’. Lord, may this be the day of surrender for many who will read this devotional- PLEASE? I ask these things in faith and through the wonderful name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!